Harmony, California

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Harmony
Unincorporated community
Harmony is located in California
Harmony
Harmony
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 35°30′31″N 121°1′22″W / 35.50861°N 121.02278°W / 35.50861; -121.02278Coordinates: 35°30′31″N 121°1′22″W / 35.50861°N 121.02278°W / 35.50861; -121.02278
Country United States
State California
County San Luis Obispo
Population (2000)
 • Total 18
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 93435
Townsign for Harmony, California on SR 1

Harmony is an unincorporated community located in San Luis Obispo County, California. It lies north of Cayucos and south of Cambria on SR 1, near the junction with SR 46. The ZIP Code is 93435. The community is inside area code 805.

History[edit]

The town of Harmony began as a dairy settlement in the late 19th century started by Swiss immigrants living near the Italian border—the same background as many of San Luis Obispo County's founders, including the Madonna Family, owners of the Madonna Inn located in San Luis Obispo, California.

Harmony was founded in 1869 around several dairy ranches and a creamery. The operation changed hands repeatedly because of rivalries that led to a killing. In 1907, owners and ranchers agreed to call off their feud and called the town by its present name as a symbol of their truce.

The Harmony Valley Dairy Co-op was founded in 1901, and the town grew, soon hosting a dairy management office, dormitories for employees, a livery stable, blacksmith and later a gas station. Shortly, a school was built and a feed store and post office gave Harmony official status as a community. At its peak, the creamery employed 10 workers, producing high quality dairy products, including butter and cheese that gave Harmony name recognition statewide. The creamery purified butter by cooking it in the traditional Swiss way, clarifying and giving it a golden color; old-world dairymen claimed butter produced by this method never turned rancid. Tourists traveling Hwy 1 often stopped for fresh buttermilk and a famed publisher William Randolph Hearst stopped often in Harmony on his way to his opulent home in San Simeon, 12 miles northwest, as did many of the Hollywood celebrities who were frequent guests of Hearst.

Increased grazing land fees and dairy industry consolidation led to the closure of Harmony's creamery around 1955. The town, which still has a part-time post office, lost population until the 1970s when it was rediscovered by California's young counter-culture population, many of whom were looking for a rural lifestyle where they could practice traditional crafts away from the pressures and technology of urban life. Many of the town's historic landmarks, including the main creamery, were restored and reopened as restaurants and shops.

In 1979 Harmony was featured by KABC in Los Angeles with a live broadcast of the Ken and Bob Company radio show. Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur were the hosts and featured singing artist Jehry Miller singing his hit song "Harmonizing in Harmony Population 18". Jehry Miller along with producer Stephen G. Scott of Los Angeles also wrote the Ken and Bob Company theme song.

Since the 1970s Harmony has ridden cycles of prosperity and neglect, but has had upscale restaurants, crafts, ceramics and art. More recently, Harmony became a town in name only; a single restaurant remained, but went through several owners before closing in the late 1990s. A small cadre of artisans keep Harmony alive, with retail shops selling art objects, locally hand blown glass and pottery, but the town faces an uncertain future. Recently Harmony was put up for sale. Helping keep the town alive is Harmony Cellars, a boutique winery and tasting room about 1/4 mile south. The winery opened in 1989 and in 2006 produced about 6,000 cases of Central Coast varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The new State Park acquisition, Harmony Headlands, contains the native Indian thistle (Circium brevistylum), which looks similar to the invasive bull thistle (Circium vulgare). Conyza canadensis is another native that looks similar to a weed in the same genus.

Layout[edit]

The town of Harmony, California, November 2007

Harmony consists of one street off of SR 1. To one side is a long abandoned house, a large dumpster, and a former art gallery, with some portable toilets. In front of the house is the "treecar" – an old grey Nissan Z-car with a tree collapsed upon it. On the other side of the street is a "U" shaped building, with the open area being a small, unfurnished plaza. On the far side of the structure is the Harmony Pottery Shop. On the near side is the post office. In the elongated center of the building is storage for the pottery shop.

There was a restaurant, but it closed in 1997. It was little more than a cafe in its food selection and atmosphere. The Harmony Pottery Shop sells pottery, T-shirts, and soft drinks. The post office was in operation until April 11, 2008. The U.S. Postal Service has scheduled a public discussion on the closure of the historic Post Office.

Harmony Glassworks now lies at the north-west end of the street. Founded in 2007 and open daily, the shop is a gallery, studio and school which offers beginner classes in glassblowing techniques.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Tropical savanna climates have monthly mean temperature above 18 °C (64 °F) in every month of the year and typically a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60mm (2.36 in) of precipitation.

Climate data for Harmony, CA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 17
(62)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
17
(63)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(69)
19
(67)
17
(62)
18.3
(64.8)
Average low °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(44)
7
(45)
7
(45)
9
(48)
10
(50)
11
(52)
12
(53)
11
(52)
10
(50)
8
(47)
6
(43)
8.7
(47.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 84
(3.3)
89
(3.5)
74
(2.9)
30
(1.2)
8
(0.3)
3
(0.1)
0
(0)
3
(0.1)
8
(0.3)
18
(0.7)
43
(1.7)
69
(2.7)
429
(16.8)
Source: Weatherbase [1]

References[edit]

Featured in Dramas[edit]

In the Korean drama "The Heirs / The One Who Wants To Wear The Crown, Bear The Crown" (Hangul: 왕관을 쓰려는자, 그무게를 견뎌라-상속자들) produced by Seoul Broadcasting System, on Episode 3 the main characters played by Lee Min-ho and Park Shin-hye visit the town of Harmony and the winery located there.

External links[edit]